Childcare Works HAF to deliver national support contract for DfE

In April 2021, DfE announced that Childcare Works would deliver the national support contract for the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme across all councils in England.

Childcare Works is a partnership between Hempsall’s and Mott MacDonald and follows our successes in delivering the Achieving Two Year Olds (A2YO) national support contract (2012-2016). During which, we worked on the implementation of the free early learning entitlement for least advantaged two-year-olds. A project that saw take-up levels rise to nearly 70% of eligible children. And the 30 Hours Childcare programme (2016-2020) that introduced 30 hours of childcare for three- and four-year-olds of working parents.

We know from first-hand experience that school holiday activities have been wide ranging and delivered over decades. Recently it has been very interesting to see how the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme has emerged and developed to become this national programme. It’s a mission we fully support. We want it to be a success for the long-term benefit of children and families especially those eligible for Free School Meals.

We have looked at the pilot learning and evaluation and listened intently to the experiences of those involved in delivery so far. It is a very familiar area of work for the team. We will take the role of working with LAs to identify how things are progressing what gaps we can fill in terms of support. We are very familiar with the tasks around:


  • Planning
  • Sufficiency mapping, and identifying risk and gaps
  • Reach and engagement
  • High quality
  • Legal compliance
  • Disadvantage, SEND
  • Safeguarding
  • And others

Our approach is to work alongside LAs and to help review and measure planning and delivery progress, help share and move information around, connect LAs together to work collaboratively towards solutions to shared problems, celebrate when things are going well, and offer direct support where needed - we do this in a universal way (available to all) and in a targeted way (where the need is greater).

We will update this page very soon with plans for our programme delivery.

Childcare Works